House oversight committee hearing in Cebu to tackle Apas socialized housing dispute

By Rosalie O. Abatayo |February 17,2019 - 06:03 PM

House Speaker and former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be in Cebu on February 18 to conduct an oversight committee hearing about the socialized housing dispute in. Barangay Apas. | Inquirer file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The House of Representatives Committee on Housing will be conducting an oversight committee hearing tomorrow, February 18, in Cebu City in an attempt to settle the over two decades of legal turmoil in the distribution of the 32-hectare lot in the city’s Barangay Apas to its about 4,000 residents who are mostly kin of former soldiers.

The 18-parcel 32-hectare lot in the barangay spans seven sitios in the periphery of the Camp Lapu-Lapu which is home to the Central Visayas Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). These are Sitios Santo Niño, Mahayahay, Upper Panabang, Plaza, Central Apas, Rotunda and Calvary Hills.

House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, during her presidency in 2003, declared the area as socialized housing sites under the provisions of the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 (UDHA),  through Presidential Proclamation No. 409.

The 18-parcel lot is part of the 47 parcels of land originally owned by the Cebu Provincial government and was donated to the AFP in 1959. Disputes between the provincial and city governments of Cebu, however, led to the delay in the awarding of titles to the qualified beneficiaries.

In October 2018, the Cebu City government and Cebu provincial government signed a compromise agreement in favor of the residents of the area. The agreement, however, still awaits the approval of the Department of National Defense. 

Arroyo then told the beneficiaries that she would work hard for the approval of the compromise agreement.

The oversight committee hearing will be held in Camp Lapu-Lapu at 2 p.m. and will be attended by Arroyo and representatives from the DND, Office of the Solicitor General, National Housing Authority, Cebu Province and Cebu City governments.

Aside from the Committee on Housing, Arroyo will also be conducting an oversight hearing with the Committee on Transportation to tackle updates on the Roll-on/Roll-off (Roro) boat systems.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza and officials from Philippine Ports Authority, Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) are expected to attend the hearing which will be held at the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) premises at 11 am./dbs

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